Vaginal cancer statistics


New cases of vaginal cancer, 2013, UK


Deaths from vaginal cancer, 2014, UK


Preventable cases of vaginal cancer, UK

  • There were around 240 new cases of vaginal cancer in the UK in 2013, that’s too low cases diagnosed every day.
  • Vaginal cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
  • In females, there were around 240 cases of vaginal cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2013.
  • Almost half (47%) of vaginal cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in females aged 70 and over (2011-2013).
  • Since the late 1970s, vaginal cancer incidence rates in females have decreased by more than a tenth (14%) in Great Britain.
  • Over the last decade, vaginal cancer incidence rates in females have remained stable in the UK.
  • 1 in 1,270 women will be diagnosed with vaginal cancer during their lifetime.
  • Vaginal cancer in England is more common in females living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth vaginal cancer incidence statistics

  • There were around 110 vaginal cancer deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s around 2 deaths every week.
  • Vaginal cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in females in the UK (2014).
  • In females in the UK, there were around 110 vaginal cancer deaths in 2014.
  • Half (50%) of vaginal cancer deaths in the UK each year are in females aged 75 and over (2012-2014).
  • Mortality rates for vaginal cancer in the UK are highest in females aged 85-89 (2012-2014).
  • Vaginal cancer mortality is declining. Rates have almost halved since the early 1970s.
  • Deaths from vaginal cancer are more common in females living in deprived areas.

Read more in-depth vaginal cancer mortality statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 63% of vaginal cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • Evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because this cancer is relatively rare.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for vaginal cancer, linked to an estimated 63% of vaginal cancer cases in the UK. Some other factors may relate to vaginal cancer risk partly because they are related to HPV.
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol in utero causes vaginal cancer.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and problems with the immune system may relate to higher vaginal cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

See more in-depth vaginal cancer risk factors

  • 'Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.
  • Almost a fifth of vaginal cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • Around 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • Almost 95% of patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

See more in-depth vaginal cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for vaginal cancer in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2014. Reliable survival data for the UK is currently not available. 

The ICD code Open a glossary item for vaginal cancer is ICD-10 C52.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2010-2012 due to the small number of cases.

Overall, the evidence on vaginal cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because of this cancer’s relative rarity. Many studies combine vaginal and vulval cancer in order to obtain a larger number of cases for analysis.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Vaginal cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.


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We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.

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